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Category Archive for ‘2012 Presidential Election’



Yes, it is that important.

Find your polling place.

Remember, you will be asked for ID, but do not need to produce it in order to vote.


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Romney Campaign Rally in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Last night 30,000 people gathered at Shadybrook Farm in Bucks County, PA  for a Romney/Ryan rally.  Despite the chilly temperature people patiently waited several hours for Mitt and Ann to arrive.

The Mitt Bus Rolls into the Rally

As I walked around the staging area, the feeling of the crowd was that of  organic upbeat enthusiasm.  People seemed hopeful and looking forward to election day. Presidential rallies are a quintessential American experience, something everyone should attend regardless of your political affiliation.  Due to a tight marathon training schedule, the Romney rally was the only one I was able to attend this year and I was not disappointed by the show.

Crowds at Rally

The dense crowd made photography a challenge and I glanced enviously numerous times at the photojournalists milling around their reserved media stand. One day, my friends, I’ll be on that stand.  Mitt and Ann arrived to the Rocky Theme and the crowd when wild. I was able to capture video of Ann’s introduction of her husband, Mitt Romney.

When Mitt spoke, the energy of the crowd was electric despite the hours of standing and the cold temperature. Mitt was interrupted numerous times with chants of ‘Two more days’ and ‘USA, USA’. He gave a solid speech and soon it was time for my favorite part…

Mitt Romney
Fireworks!!  I can never get enough of fireworks. What a great way to end a campaign rally.


What was your favorite rally the election season? Let me know in the comment section.


Who Says Political Elections Can’t Be Fun?

David Axelrod has promised to shave his well known mustache if any one of three specified states do not go for Obama on Tuesday.  I love this idea! What a  fun way to bring some levity to the serious business of presidential elections.  We need more of this and less heated rhetoric during election season.

Three states in the wager are:


November 4 – Michigan is showing a tie between Romney and Obama.
November 4: Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has the candidates tied at 47%
November 3: Minnesota – It is a toss up.

It’s anyone’s game at this point, and we will know in two short days if Axelrod will be parting with his long-time mustache.


One Week




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Photojournalists Dirty Secret

Photo Friday - Self Portrait

That quiet man or woman behind the camera harbors a rather dirty secret……at one time or another they have purposely taken less than flattering photos of politicians with whom they disagree politically.  Photojournalists, myself included, instinctively understand the visual nature of human beings.  A good picture can capture a moment, effectively freezing the narrative and invoking an emotional response with the viewer. A photographer can create whatever impression they want with selective editing of their photos.

Pulitzer prize winning photographer Eddie Adams  once wrote about  the power of photography –   “Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.” 

In a recent article on Buzzfeed, Amy Odell examines the difference in the quantity and quality of photographs taken of Ann Romney on the campaign trail as compared to FLOTUS.  The article highlighted the ugly truth that photojournalists will purposely photograph politicians with whom they disagree with politically in unflattering angles or apply hideous crops during post processing of the photos. These photos are then submitted for sale to photo stock sites such as Getty and then published in newspapers and periodicals.  A ton of ink and pixels have been generated on the topic of bias in the main stream media, particularly with the arena  of modern day politics. The same can be said of photojournalism. In this case, photos, not words are used to shape an opinion.

The article focused on Getty Image editorial collections but Getty is not the only stock photography site on the block. AP Images from 7/1/2012 to 10/28/2012 reveal similar findings in photo quality of both women. FLOTUS had a total of 563 photos to Ann Romney’s 262 photos for the same time period.  P.P.E. Agency had no photos of Ann Romney and 105 photos of FLOTUS with a focus on her European trips and her derriere.   Reuters compiled slide shows of both FLOTUS and Ann Romney. FLOTUS garnered 40 photos in the slide show and Ann Romney with 28 photos. The differences in the slide shows reveal a startling level of  editorial control in an attempt to shape the public visual impressions of both women. I am serious. Go check out the slide shows and pay particular attention to the photo of both women addressing their respective national convention this summer. To make it easier – go to photo 12 on the FLOTUS slide show and photo 3 on Ann Romney’s slide show.  Remember these are the stock photography sites your local newspaper typically go to for images of national events and the photojournalists who work for these companies know this.

Part of my passion for photojournalism is to do my part to fill in the ‘half-truths’ with my own independent brand of photojournalism. I’ve covered political rallies since 2005 always pushing the technological envelope and being frustrated quite often :)  Today, the technology to instantly share photos instantaneously has revolutionized photojournalism. It is no longer a walled garden of select photographers crafting and editing their photos to shape public impressions.  Everyone with a cell phone or a point and shoot digital camera can be a citizen photojournalist – together we can fill in the ‘half-truths’ of photography.

Oh P.S.: FLOTUS = First Lady of the United States.

What are your thoughts on photojournalism? Share them in the comments section.


Romney vs Obama – The Final Debate

Gathering of Eagles

The final debate between Republican challenger Mitt Romney and incumbent President, Barack Obama airs tonight. The topic of tonight’s debate will focus on foreign policy. Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida will host the final debate. The moderator scheduled for this debate is Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS.

This debate is one that can be lost by either participant. Mitt Romney returns with two sterling debate performances and election momentum on his side. The incumbent, Barack Obama, needs to cover a lot of ground to catch up and overtake the Romney momentum.

The wild card in this race will be the moderator. It will be interesting to note how Bob Schieffer manages this debate in light of Candy Crowley’s biased interference.

FYI: Popcorn and chocolate almond milk are the official food of tonight’s debate.

Let me know your thoughts about the final debate in the comment section. I will most likely leave only a brief review as I have an early morning running engagement.


It Must Be Election Season

Fox Chase Farm

Fall is heating up and I’m not talking about foliage.

An October surprise?  Gallop is reporting that among 2012 Presidential election voters, Romney is gaining with 52% of the vote over Obama’s 45%.  This is not surprising considering the three strong debates from the Romney/Ryan ticket over the past couple of weeks. The public had the chance to evaluate both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan without the filter of the main stream media and numerous polls reflect their impression.  In addition, the devastating debate performances by both Obama and Biden helped  clarify the differences between the two teams.  This change in polling is not unexpected.

In Pennsylvania, Susquehanna Polling and Research released the results of its polling data showing Romney taking the lead in Pennsylvania. The same polling report also shows Republican Senate Candidate Tom Smith, with two point lead over his rival, incumbent Democrat Senator Bob Casey, Jr.  Some Philly politicos have been breaking out the champagne over this poll result. I remain cautiously optimistic at this point, as it is only data from one poll. I will look for more polling data to see if this was simply an outlier poll or the beginning of a trend. Real Clear Politics labels the presidential race in Pennsylvania as a ‘Toss Up’.  I agree with this assessment and don’t have enough data to comfortably make a general prediction at this time.

Let me know your thoughts on the national presidential race and/or the Pennsylvania Senate race.



Dick Morris proclaims ‘Pennsylvania is the new Ohio‘.  It is possible to lose Ohio if you carry Pennsylvania and still win.  Pennsylvania holds 20 electoral college votes compared to Ohio’s 18 votes.  It is mathematically possible for a Romney/Ryan win if they pick up PA and lose OH.    As Morris points out, the Obama campaign has a very light advertising presence, then again so does Romney’s campaign. I catch far more Senate candidate commercials than Presidential commercials on the rare occasions I’m watching the TeeVee.

Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll has Obama ahead of Romney in Pennsylvania –  48 percent Obama to 39 percent Romney – a 14 point spread.  It also reports incumbent Senate Candidate Casey, JR with a 6 point lead over the Republican candidate, Tom Smith.

GOP SuperPAC poll has Smith and Casey, JR tied at 43 percent. No crosstab data was released.

Let Freedom Ring via Pulse Opinion Research conducted a survey of 1,000 likely voters shows incumbent Obama holding a 48 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  Incumbent Casey, Jr holds onto a thin 47 percent to 46 percent lead over Republican Senate candidate, Tom Smith.

All polls outside of election day should be scrutinized carefully. These polls have broad ranging results and can kink up the predictions of PA election tea leaf readers. It boils down to a ground game of GOTV in Pennsylvania  The successful candidate will be the one who is  more successful in turning out voters on election day.  While election fraud is a serious concern, I worry that local right of center political groups are focusing too heavily on poll watching and not so much on GOTV drives.


Tonight! Presidential Debate #2

Buster is unimpressed with the Lumix

Buster is impatiently waiting for the second presidential debate to begin. This debate should prove to be interesting.

Pre-debate predictions:

Crowley will use her position as moderator to protect Obama and run interference with Romney. She is the first woman in 28 years to moderate the presidential debate and she cannot give this to Romney easily.

Regardless of the outcome, MSNBC and George Stephanopoulos will call this debate a win for Obama.

Look for an interesting species of flora to present itself during the debate. It is commonly called the ‘Townhall Plant”.


10-11-12 Ryan vs Biden

UPDATE: Biden is living up to expectation as ‘The Angry Old Man” in the debacle of a debate.

Paul Ryan is the clear adult in this debate. The choice cannot be any clearer.

Source: etsy.com via Tania on Pinterest



It is VP debate party time! The Ryan – Biden debate is shaping up to be one of the most entertaining debates in modern history. I’m so looking forward to watching this debate while snacking on these specially prepared debate treats:


Red, White, and Blue Strawberries:




Independence Day Cupcakes:




Toast those who are about to debate with Witches Brew:

Source: blog.vegas.com via Tania on Pinterest



Don’t forget the Cheetos – Joe Scarborough’s favorite snack!


Source: google.com via Sara on Pinterest


What are your plans for debate night?


Democrat Messaging Problem

When no one's listening? #impact #madewithOver #textography @madewithOver

This presidential campaign season has been witness to a remarkable erosion of the once formidable message discipline within the Democrat Party. Since the DNC convention where the most talked about event was when the DNC delegates booed God to Obama’s inability to articulate his American vision during the first presidential debate and now the latest fumble centering around a Democrat State Representative in Pennsylvania who completely rejects the premise of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Democrat state Representative Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) who is resigning after 28 years refused to state the pledge of allegiance due to her objection to the inclusion of ‘under God’ in the Pledge.  It is understood that she can omit the phrase she finds offensive when asked to lead the pledge. From a pure marketing perspective reading stories like this is like scraping metal on a chalkboard. Ouch!

The take home message of her statement reads more like this: As a Democrat, Do not trust me to look after your well being. I pledge loyalty to nothing outside my own personal whims. It is a matter of trust.  Looking at this from two real world angles; what if  a human resource associate is interviewing Babette Josephs for a staff position where she finds certain aspects of the company’s mission statement to be offensive and refuses to abide by them?  What level of confidence would the HR associate have in entrusting the future prosperity of the company in Babette’s hands?  Parents considering hiring Babette to care for their child where d she finds parts of their expectations to be offensive and refuses to abide by them. How comfortable would the parents be in entrusting their child with her?  Again, it is a matter of trust.

Along with trust,  words ALWAYS matter. Democrats seem to be off kilter with their messaging strategy this election cycle. Pennsylvania is a purple state and at this point I believe the  state could go to either party in November. It surprises me to see these stories leaking out so close to a very critical election. I was expecting the well oiled messaging machine of 2008 to be right back in place for the 2012 election cycle since the same people, more or less, are running this machine.

What are your thoughts on Democrat messaging versus Republican messaging during this campaign?


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